Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How To Have Better Communications Skills. (My Social Journey So Far)

How are your conversation skills?  If you clicked on this blog chances are they need some work.  A little about me if you don't already know or are someone new.

I am someone who is an extreme introvert.  I am taking a journey of self improvement in many different areas of life.  In this case it is communication, and conversation skills.  I am slowly breaking out of my shyness every single day.  The journey is hard but with each small step comes sprints.  Many of the things I will be listing here are things that I struggle with still to this day, but I am sharing them because they are all things I am working on and have some experience with.  So if you are shy or even just want to improve your conversations this is for you!

my social journey to better communication

Eye contact:

Eye contact is something that used to be a struggle for me, now it is pretty normal.  However, my eyes do still shy away sometimes, and for some reason it happens more when I am recording a video than when I am talking to someone.  I find eye contact to be the biggest key, and thats why I listed it first.  It is the staple for a couple other communication skills I am working on that I will talk about more in depth later in this post as you read.

So why is eye contact important?  Well if you have ever had a conversation with someone who isn't looking you in the eyes and is looking at the ground or somewhere else, even if they aren't distracted it can feel like the person isn't listening.  Not even that but if you are the one with poor eye contact people aren't going to want to talk to you as much for that reason because they are going to feel you aren't listening.  Eye contact has been a key for me along my journey and I am practicing it every single day whenever I am talking to someone.  It will feel awkward at first but in reality it is less awkward than not looking someone in the eye when you are having a conversation.

Slow down your speech:

If you guys watch my youtube videos you know what I am talking about.  There are videos where I am talking as fast as a bullet train.  It becomes very hard to follow and you can tell that I am nervous to be on camera instead of fully happy.  However over the time I have been making videos I have been practicing this a lot and slowly over coming it.  If you are trying to communicate with someone, remember to slooooowwwww dooowwwwwnnnn.  You and the person you are talking to will both have a better and more enjoyable conversation.

Better at listening instead of talking:

Oh, how I struggle with this one.  I used to be the guy who wouldn't pay attention to what you say and wait for you to get done talking so I could say my point.  I may even still do this (oh no!).  Through my journey I have heard many people saying to listen to what the other person is saying instead of what you are going to say next.  I can say that this advice helps! As an introvert I find myself always stuck in my head about what I am going to say next, and not focussing on what the person that is talking to me is saying.  I know I have gotten better, and I realize people are more open to talk to you when you listen to what they are saying, and instead of saying what you have been waiting to say for the last 2 minutes you actually listen to the other human being and make a comment on something that person said, and they will be even more happy to talk about themselves.

Don't multitask while talking (be present):

 Have you ever been talking to someone and all they are focussed on is their phone or something other than you?  I think we have all been there and you feel as if the person doesn't want to hear what you have to say or isn't even listening.  I still do this from time to time and regret it.  Chance are if you are shy you do it as well.  I find that being completely present with the person I am speaking to also goes into play with listening.  To be present with someone we must have patience.  If we don't we will ignore what they are saying and find more enjoyment in our phones instead of the person.  A great way to help be more present with someone is to practice meditation daily.

Speak with life not monotone:

This is the hardest one for me to overcome.  When I am happy I sound the same as I do sad a lot of the time.  When I make a joke it can sound serious.  For whatever reason I struggle so hard with adding energy to my voice even when I am happy or excited.  Maybe you do to.  If you are monotone it is harder to capture peoples attention and also hard for people to grab onto what way you are saying it.  It may seem like you are being mean even if you say something nice just because your voice has no up or downs.  I have been practicing and the way that has helped me to slowly stop doing this is to notice when I am monotone and switch to being more alive.  Don't fake aliveness in your voice but embrace it when it is true!

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If you are and introvert or have trouble with talking to people check out these books.

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